Thursday, 05 August 2021 20:45

Sony Music Sues Bang Energy for Copyright Infringement on TikTok and Instagram

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This week, Sony Music initiated a copyright lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., known for doing business as Bang Energy in the energy drink industry. In its Complaint, Sony accuses Bang of using at least 132 copyrighted sound recordings owned or exclusively licensed by Sony without authorization. For example, Sony points out Bang’s alleged use of “Please Don’t Go” by Mike Posner, “Bad” by Michael Jackson, “Roxanne” by Arizona Zervas, “Gimme More” by Britney Spears, “Say So” and “Like That” by Doja Cat, as well as “Worth It” by Fifth Harmony. Some of those songs, such as “Please Don’t Go,” have been the subject of viral so-called “TikTok trends” within that application.

These sound recordings and others were allegedly used in approximately 209 videos posted to Bang’s social media accounts, including TikTok and Instagram. Taking particular aim at Bang’s alleged use on those platforms, Sony quotes TikTok’s Intellectual Property Policy and Instagram’s Terms of Use in its Complaint. Overall, Sony contends that Bang is “well aware that [its] conduct constitutes copyright infringement,” referring to the energy drink giant as “a sophisticated entity” conducting an “aggressive and conspicuous social media campaign.”

This case is Sony Music Entertainment v. Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-22825, in the Southern District of Florida.

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Kelly Malloy

Ms. Malloy earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Florida, and is currently a J.D. Candidate at the University of Miami School of Law concentrating on intellectual property. At Miami Law, Ms. Malloy serves as President of the Student Bar Association and is on the University of Miami Law Review. Ms. Malloy also served as President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, President of the Inter-Club Council, Executive Board Secretary of the Student Bar Association, and 1L Senator during her time at Miami Law. As a result of her dedication to her coursework, Ms. Malloy is in the top 10% of her class, received the Dean’s Merit Scholarship, and was awarded the Dean’s Certificate of Achievement in her Patent Law course. Ms. Malloy is a law clerk at the firm and assists attorneys by drafting patent applications, performing legal research, and preparing for litigation.